James Avery TV Parents

Funny Friday: Five Lessons Learned from TV Parents

Earlier this week, we lost a great man: actor and a television icon, James Avery. Most recognized for playing Uncle Phil on Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Avery died on Tuesday at age 68. The former Navy man was perfect for the role of Uncle Phil, who was loving, yet intimidating. With a look, Uncle Phil got his kids to stop arguing or silenced his nephew, Will. Avery’s portrayal of Uncle Phil made Fresh Prince of Bel Air a hit show. He lives on in syndication and teaches future generations some lessons about discipline, goals and life choices. This Funny Friday, we’d like to remember Avery by looking at five lessons we have learned from great TV Parents like the one he played.


Don’t give up on your kids
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Pretty much every episode, every season

There are a plethora of examples where Uncle Phil’s children do something to disappoint him, but he loves them unconditionally (even though sometimes there is silent treatment, yelling or pouting involved on his end). Uncle Phil rescues his son, Carlton, and nephew, Will, from jail, after they are racially profiled; he lets his children reside in his pool house; he eventually supports his daughter Ashley’s short-lived music career and scholastic decisions. Let’s not forget the time he apologizes to his eldest daughter, Hilary, about his reaction after she posed in Playboy (gasp). Uncle Phil is understandably upset, but he shows great maturity and parenting skills by acknowledging his daughter is an adult and embraces her, even though he disagrees with her decision. Though his initial reactions to his children’s poor choices are typically (hilarious) passionate fits of anger, Uncle Phil is protective, supportive and loving.


Embarrassment can be an effective form of punishment
Roseanne “Party Politics” Season 6 Episode 3

Before the “Sharing Shirt” for siblings and dads wearing short shorts in public, a certain television mom embarrassed her kids to get a point across. Roseanne Conner raises several of her own children and even takes in some of her children’s significant others. Somewhere along the way, Roseanne learns that embarrassing her children could be an effective way to remedy bad behavior. So, when her son, DJ, skips school, Roseanne decides to walk him to school clad in hillbilly overalls and bright, smudged lipstick; she kisses him goodbye, with the shame and embarrassment evident on his face, ensuring he will not chose to skip school for a long time.


Recognize You Have a Problem/ Ways to Control Your Temper
Family Matters “Driving Carl Crazy” Season 4 Episode 4

Carl Winslow has to endure a lot of stress. He lives with several children, a sister-in-law, nephew, mother-in-law and wife. That’s a lot of people and a lot of stress. Carl’s biggest annoyance is often next door neighbor, Steve Urkel. Urkel becomes an extended family member and works Carl’s every last nerve. To keep his cool, Carl adopts a mantra, “3-2-1, 1-2-3, What the heck is bothering me?” The mantra works for a bit, but inevitably causes him to bottle up his anger and explode, putting his health at risk.  Such was the case when he taught Urkel to drive. Teaching anyone to drive can be stressful, but being trapped in a car with accident prone Urkel would make anyone’s anxiety skyrocket. A mantra can be a good thing to have. At least it helped Carl recognize that he has to find a way to better control his temper.


Boy Meets World “Pre-union” Season 1 Episode 9

When Amy Matthews lends her young daughter, Morgan, a gold necklace for a party, Morgan returns with a plastic necklace she traded with her friend, Stephanie. Naturally, Amy tries to exchange the necklaces again, but Stephanie’s mom argues that the girls already agreed, “black, black, no trades back.” Her rational was they need to teach girls about making deals. Amy took the opportunity to make this a teachable moment for all parties involved. After some fancy footwork, Amy retrieves her necklace. She teams up with her daughter to trade brownies and a My Little Pony for the gold necklace and a car. As a result, Morgan learned not to give away items that do not belong to her as well as the art of negotiation; Stephanie and her mom learned not to mess with the Matthews’ family.


Don’t Play Ball in the House & Tell the Truth
The Brady Bunch “Confessions, Confessions” Season 2 Episode 2

Their parents told them not to throw the ball in the house. Unfortunately, the Brady boys don’t listen. When Peter’s wild basketball pass breaks Mrs. Brady’s vase, Peter tries to avoid punishment because he has a big camping trip on the horizon. The other Brady children help glue the vase back together, but when Mrs. Brady uses the vase, it was clearly broken. All of the Brady kids confess (minus Peter), leaving the Brady parents to infer Peter is the culprit. The Brady’s punish the other children and reward Peter a lantern, believing it will guilt him into a confession. Peter, after some hesitation, accepts the gift. Right before Peter leaves for his camping trip, though, he admits the vase was his fault. Peter doesn’t make the trip, but learns an invaluable lesson about telling the truth.

Cover Photo Source: s_bukley /

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Kristi is a Junior Executive at SJG. She graduated with a BS in Advertising and Public Relations from Northern Arizona University. She bleeds blue and orange, or red, or blue and red, depending on the season. Kristi spends her free time cheering on her Chicago teams, volunteering and exploring different neighborhoods. She also enjoys snowboarding, mixology and writing, but avoids doing them all at once (snow patrol tends to frown on that).[/author_info] [/author]